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variations on apple crisp

i'm making apple crisp for christmas-any suggestions for variations. it's for 20 people/. has anyone used caramel or chocolate syrup?

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  1. I've used caramel many times. Apples and chocolate don't work for me. But a great variation is to make a basic piecrust, let it firm for an hour in the fridge and grate it; then sprinkle atop the apples.

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    1. Personally I don't like the sweetness of either of those. i would add some lovely nuts, like hazlenuts or macadamia, to the topping, and add cranberries to the filling.

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      1. re: magiesmom

        I like to add lemon zest to the filling and chopped walnuts or pecans and oatmeal to the topping.

      2. I did an apple and pear crisp for Thanksgiving and added chopped crystallized ginger to the topping.

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        1. re: katecm

          This was the suggestion I was going to make: candied ginger. I prefer toppings with some oatmeal in them, for texture and crunch, and nuts never hurt. Fresh or dried cranberries in with the apples is a good seasonal touch, and the tartness of the cranberries adds balance to the flavor and texture of the whole.

        2. To me, the important thing is to be sure the "crisp" part is crisp! Mine is often not. It tastes so good that I've never bothered to figure/fix the soggy problem, but it would be nice to have an actually crisp-on-top apple crisp to serve to guests.

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          1. re: blue room

            How do you make the topping, blue room? Is it just a flour-sugar-butter streusel, or does it include oats? I think the latter is better for crispiness.

          2. If you use caramel, make sure it's salted. Adds a wonderful complex dimension to the dessert, and balances out some of the sweetness and richness of all that butter in the topping (or crisp).

            1. You can also make an apple cranberry crisp. The red of the cranberries with the pale apples looks particulary festive! I always top my crisps with the streusal topping, and you can certainly swirl some caramel on the top for more flavor.

              1. This post on master recipes for cobblers has a sugar-cookie-like topping that is wonderful, especially with the addition of chopped or ground nuts. With apple, I use brown sugar for a caramel taste.

                1. I made this pear crisp w/ dried cherries and creme fraiche custard and it was amazing. You could easily use apples instead.


                  1. Hi there, I beg you, shave some extra old cheddar on top when almost done, broil until nicely browned, enjoy the gorgeousness of it all.
                    Happy eating, Oana

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: oana

                      My favorite crisp topping actually has parmesan IN the topping. Just adds a little oomph.

                      1. re: katecm

                        Ughh ... salivating here ...